This lesson explores the technology required to explore deep reefs and considers how water pressure poses additional challenges to scientists exploring the ‘twilight zone’ through a teacher led demonstration. Students consider the human context of deep reef exploration through reading a blog post written by Norbert Englebert a member of the deep reef team. Students conduct an experiment to test whether the colour of coral affects the amount of light it absorbs.
- Describe the technology needed to work on the deep reef
- Understand the relationship between water pressure and depth
- Communicate what it is like to work at these depths
- Investigate the relationship between depth and coral colour
- Reflect on the best shape for deep reef corals
- Use of technology (10 mins)
Students identify how different species have adapted to life on the coral reef and understand how survival involves competing for resources.
- Under pressure (10 mins)
Students watch a demonstration which illustrates the relationship between depth and water pressure.
- Deep diving (10 mins)
Students consider what it is like to be part of the dive team through reading about Norbert Engelbart’s experiences and answering questions.
- Corals at depth (20 mins)
Students conduct an experiment designed to test the hypothesis that deep reef corals are darker because they need to absorb more of the available light.
- How is coral different on the deep reef? (10 mins)
Students consider the other adaptations of coral reefs and reflect on how corals might change shape at depth.